New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a show cause notice to the Odisha government on 36 children falling ill after being allegedly administered expired deworming syrup at a village in Kendrapara district.
The incident had happened at Behule village in Garadpur block in 2014.
The NHRC sent the notice to the state chief secretary, who has to reply by November 22. The notice was sent on September 26.
The commission’s directive came in response to a petition filed by a human rights activist, Akhand.
The petitioner had contended that the 36 children, in the age group of 1 to 10 years, of Behula village had fallen sick after being administered the deworming syrup by local ASHA workers and ANMs at a camp on November 5, 2014.
Later, it was revealed that the medicine given to the children in the last five months had already expired. Stating that this was a violation of human rights, the petitioner had appealed to NHRC to direct the state government to take action against the authorities concerned.
Acting on the complaint, the Commission on May 17 directed the commissioner-cum-secretary, Health & Family Welfare to submit a copy of the inquiry report of the joint probe team.
Accordingly, the commissioner-cum-secretary had submitted the copy of the inquiry report to NHRC on August 8. The report stated that no expired deworming syrup of Albendazole was given to the children. Moreover, the syrup that had expired on June 2014 was not supplied to the camp.
However, NHRC observed that the report contradicted the earlier report submitted by the state government on February 3, 2015.
Observing that the new report was concocted to save medical officers and doctors, the Commission issued the notice to the chief secretary, directing him to show cause as to why a monetary compensation of Rs 10 lakh should be not paid to each family of the affected children.